An Optimistic Outlook Improves Every Task, Allan Armitage Says

 

AllanArmitage2Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? You hum it, you whistle it and it just won’t go away. Right now, I have a catchy old song on my brain that is actually pretty sunny. It was originally released by Johnny Nash, more than 40 years ago.

I am humming it now, “I Can See Clearly Now, The Rain Is Gone…” over and over. And if something has to be stuck in my cranium, it might as well be a song that promises great things in the future, now that “the rain is gone.”

The song reminds me, in a weird sort of way, that optimism is not only a good thing, but a necessary thing to succeed. However, like all blanket statements, it is sometimes much harder to live than to talk about.

Keep Going, Don’t Give Up
There are definitely people out there who have trouble seeing clearly, while others not only see the glass half full, but are filling all the time. Those are the people with whom I try to surround myself, because like momentum in a big game, optimism is contagious.

Optimism does not translate to a happy face or Pollyanna glasses, but most often to simply slogging on, because the choices are simple: give up or keep going. How to do it may not be easy, and the instructions are nowhere written. But I think Albert Einstein put it pretty well when he said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

It’s All In How You Look At Life
This topic of staying with it came to me a few Saturdays ago when I was in the gym at spin class. I wrote about spinning a number of months ago and suffice it to say, it is not always easy to complete an hour of this Draconian practice.

We were struggling to keep our legs moving as we climbed a steep hill, which was to persist for three minutes. At the end of the first minute, the instructor said, “We have climbed 30 percent of the hill.”

Then she added, “Some of you are saying, ‘Oh my God, another 70 percent to go?’ while others are thinking, ‘Hey, I have finished 30 percent — only 70 percent more to do.’”

Isn’t that the truth? When a hard task is in front of us, we can choose to complain or we can get on with the job.

An Optimistic Outlook Improves Every Task
Perhaps it is because I am maturing that I don’t have a lot of patience with complainers and pessimists. While I don’t want to be around them, I give my advice (but only when asked) about what I do to try to pick myself up.

I often remind myself to replace the “o” with an “e” in a single word. I try never to think, “I’ve got to go to work,” “I’ve got to go running,” “I’ve got to do those exercises,” “I’ve got to go to class.” Rather, I think, “I get to go to work,” “I get to go running,” “I get to do those exercises,” “I get to go to class.”

It doesn’t always work, but it puts things in perspective, and perhaps that is all we need when life is a little out of balance.

By the way, I am still humming. The next line is, “I can see all obstacles in my way.” Won’t you please sing along?

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Armitage On Plants...

April 17, 2015

Sakata Seed Uses California Spring Trials Display Plants To Give Back

Sakata Seed America is putting its post-CAST (California Spring Trials) plants and flowers to good use to support events in local California communities of Salinas and Morgan Hill. The plants, along with donations through Sakata's Charitable Giving Program, will support three fun-filled community events that promote healthy lifestyles and support the agricultural industry.

Read More
Hakonochloa macra Aureola v

April 17, 2015

Ornamental Grasses — A Few Thoughts

Grasses have been embraced by growers, landscape architects and retailers, and are an important component in wholesale and resale sales. Allan Armitage shares some popular grasses, one to avoid and a few to use with caution.

Read More
PW_CAST15

April 17, 2015

Allan Armitage’s Favorite Plants From Proven Winners, Syngenta And Danziger

Between visiting California Spring Trial giants like Proven Winners, Syngenta and Danziger, Allan Armitage saw a lot of great plants in one day. Despite the size of the challenge, Dr. Armitage finds a few favorites he thinks you should try.

Read More
Latest Stories
Hakonochloa macra Aureola v

April 17, 2015

Ornamental Grasses — A Few Thoughts

Grasses have been embraced by growers, landscape architects and retailers, and are an important component in wholesale and resale sales. Allan Armitage shares some popular grasses, one to avoid and a few to use with caution.

Read More
PW_CAST15

April 17, 2015

Allan Armitage’s Favorite Plants From Proven Winn…

Between visiting California Spring Trial giants like Proven Winners, Syngenta and Danziger, Allan Armitage saw a lot of great plants in one day. Despite the size of the challenge, Dr. Armitage finds a few favorites he thinks you should try.

Read More
Westhoff_Crazytunia_Swiss Dancer

April 16, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds Some Surprising Intros At Floricul…

Allan Armitage visited three breeders at Spring Trials’ newest location, Floricultura. He found several plants that made Floricultura’s debut a must-stop site in 2015. Westhoff At Westhoff, plant breeding is alive and well, with many things to embrace. The petunia program is vibrant and creative, and I am particularly confident that the Crazytunia program will continue to grow. Crazytunias should fly off the shelves because of their unique colors. Westhoff also brings more standard fare to the table. The Epic series of bacopas have large flowers and should be of particular interest. ‘Epic White’ is particularly nice. And the lobelia in the Hot series has been excellent. ‘Snow White’ adds a good white to the mix. The Hot series does tolerate heat better than most lobelias and now it has a reasonable number of colors. The plant that caught my interest the most this year was ‘Lilac Cascade.’ According to Westhoff, this […]

Read More

April 16, 2015

Golden State Bulbs And Sakata: Allan Armitage Highlight…

Dr. Allan Armitage was excited to see both new and improved breeding, as well as have the chance to meet breeders and talk shop at Sakata Seed and Golden State Bulb. Sakata Seed At Sakata, we wandered through traditional crops like zinnias, New Guinea impatiens, calibrachoa and petunias. However, I have always been impressed with the SuperCal program, and this year’s introduction of vibrant colors of Light Yellow and Pink really caught my eye. The flowers of Light Yellow are significantly larger than other colors in the series. I believe the SuperCals are poised for major additional sales. Everybody was talking about ‘Dragon’s Breath’ celosia, and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. It is surely hype-worthy. The plants I observed were large with obvious vigor, and the foliage was coppery with huge, bright, rose-red flowers. Apparently this is a plant that benefits from minimal inputs, such as […]

Read More
Asclepias-Monarch-Promise

April 14, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds Old Fashioned Plants Are New Again…

Day two of California Spring Trials was packed with breeders and all their new introductions and marketing. Allan Armitage found several varieties he felt were worth a second look.

Read More
lobularia_YOLO

April 14, 2015

Dümmen And HGTV: Allan Armitage On What Looks Promising

On his third day of California Spring Trials, Dr. Allan Armitage visited two Dümmen sites and HGTV HOME Plants. (Full disclosure: Dr. Armitage consults for HGTV HOME Plants.) Take a look at the new introductions that caught his eye during these stops.

Read More
Celosia-Intenz-Lipstick-8250-BallIngenuity_620x349

April 13, 2015

Allan Armitage Shares His Favorite Spring Trials Finds …

Dr. Allan Armitage talks about his favorite finds among the many new introductions he saw at Green Fuse Botanicals, Suntory and Ball Horticulture. He saw a couple of not-so-new plants that he loves, too.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

April 10, 2015

Let’s Revisit New Crops

New crops are the lifeblood of our industry, but what is new to us isn't always new to consumers.

Read More

March 23, 2015

Update To Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals …

A new update to the Greatest Perennials & Annuals app narrows the gap between consumers and grower-retailers, while providing more of Armitage’s top picks and growing advice for success with plants.

Read More
Salvia 'Ember's Wish'

March 11, 2015

Annual Salvias – Not Just Red Bedding Plants Anym…

Salvias are popular — and they need not all be the same. Here are a few you know well, and perhaps a few you do not. All are easy to grow and may be found through a broker or grower.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

March 11, 2015

Memoirs Of A Plantsman: Q & A With Allan Armitage

In light of the upcoming release of Dr. Allan Armitage's memoir, "It’s Not Just About the Hat — The Unlikely Journey of a Plantsman," Greenhouse Grower caught up with him for an in-depth Q & A about his newest work and what he’s planning next.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Ornamental Grasses Bring Low Maintenance To The Landsca…

Read about Allan Armitage's picks for low-maintenance grasses for the landscape.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

January 9, 2015

Carex: Up And Coming Perennial For Spring Sales

Carex has quietly become as important to the landscape trade as popular grasses like panicum and miscanthus.

Read More

November 24, 2014

Impatiens Downy Mildew: Is It Time Yet?

Has enough time passed to add bedding impatiens back into the starting lineup without the fear of downy mildew?

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

November 3, 2014

Plants That Passed Their Trial: Armitage’s Favori…

Allan Armitage outlines his favorite top performing plants of 2014 he'd like to see offered by growers, brokers and retailers in 2015.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

September 26, 2014

Let’s Get Real — We Are Not Going Anywhere

The greenhouse industry has turned a corner. We are incorporating change into everything we do.

Read More

August 22, 2014

The Plant Season Is Over — What I Have Seen

Annuals, perennials, shrubs, even trees, assailed us all season. We started out viewing new plants in April at the California Spring Trials and watched these newbies and their older siblings in trials, gardens and field days. Here are some thoughts on the four crops that keep filling my radar screen almost everywhere I go.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

July 28, 2014

You Don’t Need To Hit A Homerun Every Time, Armitage Sa…

The more I meet positive people and learn about successful endeavors, the more I understand that consistency, not power is the key.

Read More